Tenerife: The great outdoors on a small island
Here’s a blog from Jenny Roper about the range of great outdoors activities to be found on the Spanish island of Tenerife. With a breathtaking natural landscape of towering mountainous terrain, stunning flora and fauna and dramatic coastline, Tenerife provides much more than just sun, sea and sand for those interested in taking a break from the norm.
For quite some time, the biggest of the Canary Islands has been popular among tourists looking for a relaxing retreat, but delve a little deeper and you’ll come across a region that embraces the great outdoors.
What’s more, late deals to Tenerife mean you won’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy a yearlong warm climate and some of the following exhilarating pursuits.
Water sports on Tenerife
In recent years, an increasing number of tourists have descended on Tenerife to take advantage of the superb scuba diving and snorkelling opportunities on offer.
Not only can you swim with families of turtles, marine predators such as barracuda and tuna as well as bright silver jacks at popular dive spot The Rays (Los Chuchos), there is also the possibility of coming across underwater artefacts as well.
Just 3km from Las Galletas harbour is the wreck of El Condesito, a ship that still remains partially intact. You’ll be joined by trumpetfish, octopus and sardines as you negotiate the ship’s boiler and engine room.
If you want to stay above water, surfing is a popular pursuit as waves constantly break against the shore. Thanks to the favourable weather, you can also try windsurfing, kite surfing or sailing.
Walking on Tenerife
In order to unearth the rich diversity of Tenerife’s terrain, taking a walk is highly recommended. Across the island, more than 1,000km of nature trails exist, many of which have been approved or are waiting to receive official status from the European Ramblers Association.
In the Corona Forest Nature Park you’ll find the Chasna Trail, a 500-year-old route featuring a marvellous viewpoint where the impressive moonscape can be seen. There is also an extensive network of footpaths in the ecologically rich Anaga Rural Park.
But perhaps the most stunning place to go for a ramble is the Teide National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that hosts the third largest volcano in the world – El Teide.
Cycling on Tenerife
Once again, Tenerife’s diverse terrain is perfect for pedal-powered enthusiasts. Both mountain bikers and cyclists are spoilt for choice with an abundance of tracks, trails and roads of varying difficulty.
In fact, with the opportunity to climb from zero to 2,100 metres in just 35km, the island has played host to high altitude training for numerous pro cyclists, such as Bradley Wiggins.
The tree-lined hills around La Esperanza and the Corona Forestal – which surrounds Teide National Park – have something to offer all abilities. In the north of the island, more challenging routes can be found in Garachico, Icod de los Vinos and El Sauzal.
Why not head to Tenerife to find out for yourself about the great outdoors options on offer?
Jenny Roper dabbles in a few high-octane pursuits herself, including hang-gliding and parkour. She lives in Glasgow and writes for a number of travel publications.